I will be the first to admit that yes, I am a sucker for New Year. I know a lot of people tend to think that the whole ‘New Year, New Me’ thing is such an overplayed cliché, but I respectfully disagree! I love the idea that a new year can be used as a kick off medium to further improve yourself through resolutions. I especially love looking back at a past year and realising that I have in fact achieved them in my aspirations to become a better person (I hope). For example, in 2015 I have achieved my goal of not watching the Kardashians anymore, wearing sunblock everyday (yes, every damn day!), keeping a good tab on my daily prayers, making an effort to join more charity work than 2014 and exercising at least twice a week. They are small milestones, but they made a huge difference in my life.
For the past week I had been reflecting on 2015 and concluded that I have had a shit year. Aside from some things that did go well, the rest sort of went downhill from the get-go. Feeling melancholic, I started writing a post about how sad and gloomy it had been. But this morning, as I scrolled down Facebook and saw everybody’s comments on what 2015 had been for them, I realised… everyone seems to have had a generally challenging year too. A couple of friends lost their jobs, some lost their loved ones, my neighbour got robbed, a mutual friend was diagnosed with cancer, deranged guys are killing civilians, racist weirdos are Prime Ministers and Presidents, and the list goes on.
As I read through this, it dawned on me that I am officially and undoubtedly, an ungrateful little twat. Sure, just because everyone has bigger problems does not mean mine are less valid. But looking around, amidst all the tragedies there are so many things to be happy about. One day we were having a family meal, a feast, more like, and while everyone was tucking in my Dad said, “Do we realise that some people don’t even get to eat?” He didn’t mean to be a buzzkill, but it sure made the food taste even better, because it made everyone at the table have gratitude and ultimately, happier for the simple blessing that is food on the table. And family to eat with. In a stable home. Such a wonderful life.
So in 2016, one of my resolutions is to project gratitude. I don’t want to just sit in my comfy apartment wearing nice clothes eating fancy food and say I’m grateful. That is NOT enough. Gratitude needs to be exhibited. Portrayed. Whether it be through trying to help others with small gestures, doing my part for the environment, getting off my bum and out there doing physical charity (rather than just ‘liking’ a photo on FB) or even simple things like not being wasteful and accepting challenges in life with a hindsight that there are so many other things I’ve got going on for me.
On a more selfish note, there is this Islamic saying I read somewhere that says “until you are grateful, you will never get better things in life”. And I want better things!! So here is to being grateful.
Note: Other 2016 resolutions include – sleep for 7 hours max in a day, watch less than 3 hours of TV per week (exception: The Walking Dead, Homeland, Game of Thrones), see one new place per month, go for Umrah, learn a new skill (last year was Yoga). Terms and conditions apply.
Another note: Last night I went to see the NYE fireworks in the city. The grandma in me initially detested this idea, but it turned out to be so much fun! Gotta add this to my 2015 highlights.